Epidemiology and etiology

Pharyngitis is usually a component of upper respiratory infections caused by rhinovir-us, coronavirus, adenovirus, influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, or Epstein-Barr virus. Group A Streptococcus, or S. pyogenes, is the most common bacterial cause of acute pharyngitis, responsible for 15% to 30% of cases in children and 5% to 10% of adult infections.33, 6 Infection is most common in late winter and early spring and is spread easily through direct contact with contaminated secretions. Clusters of infection are common within families, classrooms, and other crowded areas. Less common causes of bacterial pharyngitis are Corynebacterium diphtheriae, groups C and G streptococci, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Neisseria go-norrhoeae. This section will focus on group A streptococcal disease in which antimicrobial therapy is indicated.

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